Friday, December 9, 2016

Some Catching Up To Do

My new camera has malfunctioned so I've sent it back to be repaired under warranty. None of my old cameras work so I will be "blogless" until my camera is returned and I have time to get some photos taken and edited. It means I'll miss the annual Gingerbread House Contest (and so will you) this year. I do have some pet photos, however, taken at the end of November which I'll post here. After that, I'll have to wait for my camera.

Just look at that green grass! It sure doesn't look like that anymore as we've had lots of snow. But the dogs enjoyed it while the nice weather lasted:

 Our late November weather turned so nice that I actually mowed the lawn, an unheard of thing to do so late in the year, so far in the north. All five dogs watched me and, if you look behind them, Remy was watching also. He would have loved to come out and cause trouble:

 Clover, Jack and Daphne:

 Fergus, Seamus and Jack:

 But it is winter now, and things look more like this. The dogs don't seem to care as long as it isn't too cold and windy:

 We had one two-day-long blizzard which left deep snow. Then that snow mostly melted and we got a more moderate snowfall to get us off to a good start in December:

 But most of the time, the pet population here looks like this - indoors and snoozing. The two new cats, Daisy and Bugsy, got terribly ill and did not respond to medication. They tested negative for feline AIDS and Leukemia so the vet changed the medication. As I write this, they are still being treated and I don't yet know the outcome:

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Hay Feeders, Hens, Pigeons And Horses

Blue and Remy only use their stall at night in the worst weather and they used the tote bag type of hay feeders:

The problem was that they destroyed one each night. The next morning it would look as if a mad terrorist with a box cutter knife had gone on a hay feeder slashing binge:

So I removed the tote bag feeders and instead put an old barn board at an angle near the floor, allowing the hay dust to drop to the floor but keeping the bulk of the hay in one place. I don't yet know how it will work. They might destroy this too or they might poop in it. Only time will tell:

The pigeons and chickens are locked up for the winter so I cleaned out their coops, yielding enough shavings and manure to almost fill the tractor's bucket. My manure/compost pile is growing:

One farm gate lost its hinges so I had to begin using a different gate. Alas, the ground is soupy there and getting worse with each pass of the tractor:

The white fantail pigeons are happy and healthy:

There are several permanent pairs keeping company. This duo is on the northeast side of the room:

And this pair is on the northwest side of the room. The other birds seem to be actively searching for mates - or maybe they are just swinging singles, living the high life:

I now have only 13 hens, and they are indoors, safe from weather, traffic and foxes for the winter:

Remy has grown a great deal and looks more like a pony than a miniature horse:

 Blue has remained short:

 Blue too has grown, but it was mostly sideways. He is now on a diet along with some of the cows:

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

The Red Poll Girls Make The Winter Adjustment

It is often said that March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb, but the opposite could be said for November. It came in like a lamb, or maybe I should say like sweet Jasmine, lounging in the grass and chewing her cud:

 There was lots of hay to eat and a bit of grass for those adventurous souls willing to work for it:

 Little Tabitha had never seen any cold weather, but she grew a thick winter's coat:

 There was a feeling of expectancy, as if the animals and I all knew things were about to change:

 But life continued as normal:

 The girls were on a diet as several of them had become obese. They weren't happy about that but in all other respects, everything was quiet and peaceful:

 One Saturday our temperature went up to 70 F and the skies were clear and sunny:

 The following day, Sunday, saw plunging temperatures, heavy snow and continuous high velocity west winds. The cows sheltered on the east side of the barn to protect themselves from the cold wind:

 When it stopped snowing and blowing two days later, a few patches of green grass began to show, though in other places there were snow piles three and four feet deep:

 But the temperatures gradually moderated and life returned to normal. The Red Poll girls seemed to be at home in any kind of weather:

 The blizzard had knocked down some yellow apples so I fed them to the horses and cattle:

 And winter is now here to stay. January and February are usually the harshest months, but Red Polls are hardy cattle and seem to do just fine. I'm not sure the same could be said for me: